On Wednesday’s city council meeting, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman once again urged Nevada Governor Sisolak to open the state back up for business so residents can get back on the road to economic recovery.
In the council meeting, Goodman said the shutdown has become one of “total insanity.” Goodman made the strong statement after explaining how there was no plan put into place in how the state would navigate through the shutdown, or how to come out of it.
Goodman used experts’ comments to defend her statement, bringing up the consensus that the coronavirus will be around for a long time and that thus far, the virus has “only killed less than 0.5 percent of the state population.”
Coronavirus Cases in Nevada
In Nevada, there are currently 2,836 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 112 deaths. Clark County has made up the majority of those cases, with 2,559 reported cases.
According to Goodman, the low death count doesn’t support the statewide shutdown of casinos and non-essential businesses.
Gov. Sisosal advised that The Nevada State Public Health Lab (NSPHL) has around 5,000 tests on hand, with the capacity to run 400 tests per day.
Dr. Mark Pandori, the director of NSPHL, said that while they have current testing capabilities, they will need a whole lot more in able to test the way they want and need to in the state.
How Nevada’s Economy has been Impacted by COVID-19
With the mandated shutdown order that kicked into effect mid-March, 900,000 of Nevada’s 3.2 million residents have lost their jobs. A third of those 900,000 who have lost their jobs have applied for unemployment, breaking records for Nevada’s highest amount of claims.
The previous high of unemployment claims filed was recorded at 8,945 for the weekend ending January 10, 2009. The current pandemic has blown that number out of the water.
Since March, 300,000 Nevadans have filed for unemployment, and there are record highs going on across the country.
Goodman expressed her frustration further, saying that being shut down is “killing Las Vegas,” adding that it’s tearing down the industry, tourism, convention business and everything else that we’ve all worked so hard to build.
She added that the longer it takes for the city to reopen, the longer it will take to rebuild and recover.
Mayor’s Continued Plea with the Governor
Goodman has pleaded with the Governor before, when the mandate was first put into place. She explained that Nevada residents would not be able to survive a shutdown of this magnitude “beyond the immediate week or two.”
In her statement, she further added that “we cannot continue to keep our heads in the sand and think it’s going away.”
Goodman argued that Nevadans know how to take the precautions necessary to fight the spread of the disease, like adequately washing our hands and keeping our space from one another.
“Please, governor,” she continued, “we need to be able to live our lives, support our families and, yes, keep Nevada strong, but together.”
Governor Sisolak Will Rely on Expert Medical Advice to Reopen
Despite the Mayor’s adamant pleas to the governor, Gov. Sisolak says he will not be influenced by other politician’s opinions to reopen and will rely strictly on experts’ medical advice in reopening the state.
“I’m not going to respond to those comments or attacks that are made of me or my decisions. I can tell you that I spend 24 hours a day, my wife can tell you I don’t sleep well anymore, analyzing these decisions,” Sisolak said.
Sisolak sympathized with Nevadans, saying he knows it isn’t easy to stay home during this quarantine lockdown. But, he added that it’s even tougher to swallow seeing Nevadans die because of this deadly outbreak.
The governor says he is prioritizing the lives of his fellow Nevadans over any dollars, and that he will open the state back up at the right time, once it’s been carefully considered safe to do so by health experts.
Currently, there is no definitive reopening date, although the shutdown was set to last until April 30.
It’s hard to estimate whether the state will be re-opening by the end of the month, but casino operators are eager to do so and have even been coming up with new coronavirus safety measures to use once casinos get to fully operate again.
With the coronavirus pandemic situation still fluid, it’s hard to tell how the end of the month will go for Nevada.
Be sure to check back for the latest coronavirus coverage updates.
As always, stay safe, stay sane, and stay healthy!